When they arrive in Glacier National Park, it’s not necessarily by the dead of night, for seeds are so small most people don’t notice them. They’re blowing on the wind, carried by birds, hidden on your trousers and shoes, clinging to your backpack, and even on your car and pop-up camper.
We’re talking about plants out of place, better known as noxious invasive weeds such as St. Johnswort and spotted knapweed. Unfortunately, such weeds are hardy and adaptable. Worse yet, they disrupt the natural plants in otherwise well-balanced park habitats including wildlife.
According to the Crown of the Continent Research Center, there are 126 invasive plant species in Glacier, fifteen of which are considered noxious. One of those–spotted knapweed–is so nasty that it kills nearby plants by secreting a toxic chemical into the soil!
Wanted: Dead, if Not Gone: Glacier’s Noxious Weeds
Dalmatian Toadfl ax
Yellow Toadfl ax
Meadow Hawkweed Complex
On Friday, July 30th, the park will hold its first annual Noxious Weed Blitz. Noxious Weed Blitz participants will be trained to assist Glacier’s Invasive Plant Management Program by learning to identify, map and pull invasive plants. They’re encouraged to bring water, clothes suitable for hiking, and heavy gloves.
The heavy gloves will be used after lunch as volunteers head out on the western side of the park to pull weeds. Interested in weeding Glacier National Park? Contact the Crown of the Continent Research Center at 406-888-7986 or via e-mail to sign up.
Volunteers will assemble at the West Glacier Community Building. The blitz will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Participants will be provided with a free lunch and a noxious weeds field guide.